Monday, August 30, 2010

Country breakfast buffet at the Ole Sawmill Cafe.

LOTS FOR BREAKFAST:  A plate of buffet offerings
  • LOTS FOR BREAKFAST: A plate of buffet offerings
On my way to Memphis for an assignment last week, I dropped into a little place I haven’t visited before. I’ve seen those signs for The Ole Sawmill Café in Forrest City for a long time, but somehow I’ve never made it in.
My intention had been to grab an egg sandwich and go on to my next destination with some haste. It was 9am and I had a whole lot on my plate. But the promise of a decent breakfast buffet for the price of $6.50 seemed like a reasonable risk. After all, that’s about what I’d pay for a full breakfast just about anywhere, and I was hungry.
I found a table in the middle section of the almost deserted restaurant and met my waitress there. She took my drink order and suggested I help myself. So I did. After all, time was of the essence.
Now, I usually have a significant problem with breakfast buffets, since many lean heavy on breakfast meats like bacon and sausage and on old standbys like sausage gravy — all things I can’t enjoy. I have been known to go seek a refund when I view a buffet and find that there’s no way it’d be worth my time and money. Most places understand.
I didn’t have that problem here. Yes, there was a big pile of bacon, and of sausage, and ham, and pork tenderloin slices — along with the sausage gravy. But there were also chicken fried steak fingers, potato cakes, white gravy, biscuits, scrambled eggs, grits, oatmeal, French toast sticks, nice fluffy biscuits and honey butter — plenty on which I might dine. I was great with that.
Now, there weren’t piles of fruit or yogurt or anything like that there. Just hot food. But for what it was, it was pretty good. Nothing was especially greasy, the oatmeal was soft, the grits were perfect (perfect enough for me to go back and get a whole ‘nother bowl) and the eggs were pretty good. It was a nice, filling meal before my Memphis-area soujourn.
I ended up paying more than $6.50, because I imbibed in iced tea. Drink’s not covered on that buffet, but that was fine.
Thing is, The Ole Sawmill Café is very reminiscent in décor of your average Cracker Barrel. It’s been in its current location for about ten years; before that, it was elsewhere in Forrest City. It has its roots in another café, the Liberty Bell Café, which dates back to 1939. I could go all into it, but you can find out much more on The Ole Sawmill Caféwebsite. No need to rehash. Lots of local crafts in the gift shop. I woulda liked to have shown you, but I wasn’t paying attention and forgot to photograph the inside of the shop.
Anyway, you’ll find The Ole Sawmill Café in Forrest City. Take the first (Forrest City vs. Wynne) exit at exit 241, head south and then turn right at the first light. They also serve lunch and dinner, with some buffets and a lot of menu items that you can view over in the website. For more information, call (870) 630-2299.

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